Realizing High Thermoelectric Performance in n-Type Se-Free Bi2Te3 Materials by Spontaneous Incorporation of FeTe2 Nanoinclusions

Jamil Ur Rahman, Woo Hyun Nam, Yong Jae Jung, Jong Ho Won, Jong Min Oh, Nguyen Van Du, Gul Rahman, Víctor M. García-Suárez, Ran He, Kornelius Nielsch, Jung Young Cho, Won Seon Seo, Jong Wook Roh, Sang il Kim, Soonil Lee, Kyu Hyoung Lee, Hyun Sik Kim, Weon Ho Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bi2Te3-based materials have drawn much attention from the thermoelectric community due to their excellent thermoelectric performance near room temperature. However, the stability of existing n-type Bi2(Te,Se)3 materials is still low due to the evaporation energy of Se (37.70 kJ mol−1) being much lower than that of Te (52.55 kJ mol−1). The evaporated Se from the material causes problems in interconnects of the module while degrading the efficiency. Here, we have developed a new approach for the high-performance and stable n-type Se-free Bi2Te3-based materials by maximizing the electronic transport while suppressing the phonon transport, at the same time. Spontaneously generated FeTe2 nanoinclusions within the matrix during the melt-spinning and subsequent spark plasma sintering is the key to simultaneous engineering of the power factor and lattice thermal conductivity. The nanoinclusions change the fermi level of the matrix while intensifying the phonon scattering via nanoparticles. With a fine-tuning of the fermi level with Cu doping in the n-type Bi2Te3–0.02FeTe2, a high power factor of ~41 × 10−4 Wm−1 K−2 with an average zT of 1.01 at the temperature range 300–470 K are achieved, which are comparable to those obtained in n-type Bi2(Te,Se)3 materials. The proposed approach enables the fabrication of high-performance n-type Bi2Te3-based materials without having to include volatile Se element, which guarantees the stability of the material. Consequently, widespread application of thermoelectric devices utilizing the n-type Bi2Te3-based materials will become possible.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy and Environmental Materials
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • BiTe
  • FeTe
  • energy harvesting
  • n-type materials
  • nanoinclusion
  • thermoelectric

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